INTERACTIVE AXIOM #2: The Interactive Trade Agreement

EVERY INTERACTIVE CONSTRUCT MUST PROVIDE REIMBURSEMENT OF VALUE EQUAL TO, OR IN EXCESS OF, THE USER’S SELF-APPRAISED INVESTMENT OF TIME, ATTENTION AND EFFORT OF ACTION.

All the rules of economics apply to this system- though nothing physical is exchanged. In this economic exchange the User must perceive being the inordinate beneficiary, where time, attention and action are His currency.  Whereas, promise and (not “or”) payoff of value are the currency of the Interactive content creator.

Ultimately value – and not the communication of value – is the light that attracts the moths in this system.

Some of you are thinking this is obvious.  And yet, all too often, more often than not, advertisers do not demonstrate such an understanding.  How often are we asked to “register” before gaining access to content of undisclosed value?  How often does a click on a banner ad result in redirection to more marketing messaging?  How often does “Click Here” reside, where rather, something wonderful that creates a sense of curiosity should?

This axiom operates both at the macro and the micro.  On the one hand it is the foundation of an ongoing relationship with the user, and on the other it drives every unique rollover and click.

Every click or interaction represents a User’s investment- a prepayment that is based on a perceived promise, and must be rewarded with a payoff.

Not a tagline, a payoff. Failure to pay off every such prepayment is akin to thievery.  No wonder users are so skeptical of most online advertising.

BRANDING THE PROMISE

Have you ever wondered why, on the one hand, visitors to Disneyland will go to such great personal cost to get to the theme park, and wait in line for up to 3 hours or more to experience a 4 minute ride?  And further, why these same humans won’t give your proposition so much as a click?

Disney has done an excellent job branding their promise.  They have consistently (not occasionally, or once) paid off the “users'” prepayment with inordinate value.  Consistently, the pay off at the end of the line was “worth it”.  Thus the willingness to prepay again.

What is the pay off at the end of your click?  And at a higher level, what is the payoff at the end of all your clicks?  Do you pay off with inordinate value?  Do you even think in those terms?   If you do pay off, have you done it consistently for years, and plan on continuing for many more?

There is an opportunity for every brand out there that is willing to make a commitment to paying off every marketing based click- for years to come.  Should a brand take such a stance, it will be rewarded with a huge and consistent user response.  Users will come to trust the brand. They’ll know that when that brand says “click here” it’s worth it.  More specifically, they will come to trust the marketing.  They will seek the marketing out.  They will go to great effort to find that button to click.

One of the admitted issues here, is that advertising tends not to work that way.  Campaigns are changed quarterly, or more frequently, few in the advertising industry contemplate multi-year initiatives.

And yet.  That’s what is required. In order to brand the promise of your brand.  Got it?